“Your home is a gift and a blessing.” Those are the words that lead off day 1 of the 31 day challenge in Loving the Home You Have, a new book by Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room. Reading those simple words pushed me into really thinking about my attitude towards my home.
If someone asked me, “Are you thankful for you home?” I would answer without hesitation, “Yes.” But if someone asked me to give them a tour of my house, I would most likely point out all of the things on my to-do list, the plans and the I-haven’t-gotten-to-that-yets. I would also be quick to say that we’re hoping to move in a few years, putting it out there that this isn’t my dream house. Gratitude might not be evident in that tour. And, I hate to say, it might not always be evident here on my blog.
So, I read the rest of the “home gratitude” challenge. Melissa encouraged me to walk around my house and think about how thankful I am for it and to view each room “through the lens of gratitude.” Since she knows people like me (us) tend to see the things we still want to do and buy and fix and replace and get rid of and work on, she specifically says to not do that. It seems like that should be simple, but it really was very hard for me to look at each room for exactly what it is, not what it will be “when I’m done.”
So, I looked at my spaces for what they are. Right now.
I love the light in my dining room. The power company cut down a tree that blocked a lot of the light about a year after we moved in and I’m so thankful for that. It’s beautiful in real life and for pictures. I’m also thankful that an artist, who didn’t know me apart from my blog, sent me an e-mail and offered to paint me a cow. That cow became Eulalie and it’s my very favorite painting ever. And what a blessing it was to find that chandelier at a yard sale (for $4.00), three years before we bought this house.
In the living room, I’m so thankful for the awesome Craig’s List finds like the primitive hutch and Gustavian sofa. I appreciate that Jeff lets me have this as a “pretty room”, when it really could be more functional. I enjoy being welcomed into our home by things I love.
One reader traded me for this chair and another sold me yards and yards of this checked fabric for $1.50/yard and both were totally perfect for me.
I love how my family hangs out in our family room and kitchen. Those rooms are always the messiest in the house, but it’s because they are busy. Snacks, games, wrestling, movies, meals, reading, homework, crafts, building, battles, movie-making, Hex bug races, forts and more all take place in these spaces. I’m thankful I was able to bring my vision for this kitchen to life almost exclusively through freelance projects and blog sponsorships. I should remember how much God’s blessed this business and our family through it every time I’m scrambling eggs and washing dishes.
I’m thankful for generous aunts, who know I love decorating and will bring me rolls of fabric when they are cleaning out their stash. I’m also grateful for a room that is just for guests, so we can open our home when friends and family come to our area.
(Okay, the master bedroom is the hardest for me!!) I’m thankful for a comfortable bed that I love sinking into at night and am reluctant to leave in the morning. I love that we were able to create a space that feels luxurious and truly is a sanctuary. I don’t often “play hooky” from work, but when I do, I want to hang out in this room, in that bed, with my jammies on.
This house has been more perfect for us than I ever imagined when we bought it. It has a huge basement workshop that we didn’t know we would need for a business we hadn’t even dreamed of starting yet. This home, with all of its quirks and angled ceilings, tiny bathrooms, funky layout, asymmetry and long, narrow rooms, has been everything we’ve needed and more. It’s even given me little gifts like glass doorknobs, old wood floors hidden under berber carpet and chunky pine trim.
I need to express gratitude for this 1940’s cape cod, in a little Pennsylvania factory and orchard town, more often. Even just writing this post, focusing on all of the things I love and appreciate, makes me feel so much more affection for my home.
And shouldn’t we all feel that way about our homes?
Through this exercise, I also learned that I’m not one to point out flaws in things, but I am one to point out potential in everything. “This is how this room could look if”, “this is the dress size I could wear when”, “this is what we can do when we have this much money saved”, and on and on. There’s a hopefulness in seeing potential, but there is also a danger to not appreciate, enjoy and feel gratitude for things as they are.
I’m going to work on that.
Thanks for your inspiring and challenging words, Melissa.
PS – This is NOT a paid sponsorship. I just wanted to support a fellow blogger, entrepreneur, author and friend.